Encyclopedia of American Education

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9780816029945: Encyclopedia of American Education
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The first historical encyclopedia of education to appear in the United States in more than twenty-five years, the Encyclopedia of American Education covers the entire span of American education from the colonial period to the present. This three-volume, 2,000-entry set provides a wealth of information on virtually every aspect of education, from the evolution of school curriculum, education funding, church-state controversies, and Supreme Court decisions to the latest debates on multiculturalism, prayer in school, and sex education. Entries include: -- Education and reform movements, such as the open classroom and Head Start -- Legal issues, from student rights to busing and desegregation -- Theories of education Entries include: -- Types of schools and degrees -- Important educators and benefactors, such as John Dewey and Andrew Carnegie.

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About the Author:

HARLOW GILES UNGER is a graduate of Yale University and the author of fifteen books, including the award-winning Lafayette, as well as biographies of John Hancock and Noah Webster. A veteran journalist, he was an editor at the New York Herald Tribune Overseas News Service in Paris and a foreign correspondent for the "Times" and the "Sunday Times," London.

From Booklist:

This three-volume set by an education journalist contains nearly 2,500 entries on every aspect of education at all levels from colonial times to the present. Legal issues, teaching methods, types of schools, educational organizations and programs, tests, publications, administration, and leading educators are some of the broad areas covered. Articles range from a few sentences (voucher system, classical realism, phoneme) to several pages (school choice, prayer-in-school, student unrest), with most falling somewhere in between (Channel One, Coleman Report, multicultural education). Entries for each state briefly survey the history of education there. The one for Alabama states that "fewer than 30% of its adults have high school diplomas" ; other sources say more than 60 percent are high-school graduates. Entries give concise definitions and descriptions, which will be sufficient for most users. The treatment is often historical, however; entries do not always delve into current issues. For instance, the incorporation of trade books into the elementary curriculum is not mentioned in children's literature; the controversy over alternatives to vivisection is not found under biology. There is no entry for the Internet, a topic that certainly has many implications for education, and it is not mentioned in computers. Curiously, saving space is provided as the reason library catalogs and other holdings were converted to computer files in recent years.

The bibliographies found at the end of every article are frustrating. For books, they list only title, author, and date. Others cite only the name of an organization or a general reference, such as U.S. Supreme Court proceedings or ERIC. Patrons will appreciate the numerous entries for court cases and public laws, although citations or law numbers are not provided, necessitating the use of an additional index if the text is required. A 40-page bibliography, divided into 41 major topics, supplements the text. Bibliographic references are incomplete here as well. Four appendixes provide a brief chronology of U.S. education from 1607 to 1994; significant federal education legislation, 1787^-1993; significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions; and lists of college majors, including separate lists of undergraduate and graduate specialties in education. Black-and-white photographs include mostly historical scenes, such as child labor and a portrait of John Dewey. The extensive index notes illustrations.

This will prove to be the best general education encyclopedia for many libraries; it is somewhat larger and more comprehensive than the revised edition of the American Educator's Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 1991), though the bibliographic references in the latter are complete. Libraries that own the more expensive Pergamon titles (Encyclopedia of Higher Education, International Encyclopedia of Education, and single-volume subject encyclopedias) will still want to acquire this set for its emphasis on the U.S.

This major work was praised by RBB for its comprehensiveness and authoritativeness when it was first published in four volumes in 1986. It was updated with a one-volume supplement in 1992. Now the five volumes are available unrevised on CD-ROM, providing electronic access to the major events, deliberations, and decisions that have shaped the American legal system.

This product uses the same software as the Encyclopedia of Religion [RBB O 1 96] and the Encyclopedia of Bioethics [RBB O 15 96]. DOS, Windows 3.1, and Macintosh versions are all on the same disc. It is easy to use, providing quick access to essays on people, decisions (mostly U.S. Supreme Court), public acts, and historical periods. A glossary defines legal terms. Articles are extensively cross-referenced, with hot links allowing the user to move quickly to related entries. A toolbelt on the left side of the screen provides several ways of access, such as "Search" the entire work, using Boolean and proximity operators. It is also possible to scroll through the whole work, article by article. The user's guide has clear instructions, including troubleshooting tips. The name of the encyclopedia, volume number, and page are printed at the beginning of each paragraph. Each article is signed, and the bibliography is included.

CD-ROM products save much time in searching printed indexes and articles for terms. However, the fact that the work under review has not been updated in the past five years makes it of more use for historical than current research. For example, there is no information about the 1995 Supreme Court decision on the way congressional districts are drawn. Libraries where the print set receives extensive use may want to purchase, and those that couldn't afford the print encyclopedia will want to consider this less expensive CD-ROM version.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780816068876: Encyclopedia of American Education (Facts on File Library of American History)

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ISBN 10:  0816068879 ISBN 13:  9780816068876
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Harlow G. Unger; Rudolf Steiner
Published by Facts on File (1996)
ISBN 10: 0816029946 ISBN 13: 9780816029945
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